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Minute Message from the Master
    Stay with me...
  • Stay with me...
     
    No, this is not the crooning of some star-struck lover.
     
    Every one of us in ur own way offer this heart-felt prayer.
    On Easter Sunday two disciples expressed it this way: “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.”
     
    We express it
    …through lonely tears
    …through agonizing minutes
    …through pounding fear
     
    “Stay with me Lord…I can’t do this alone!”
     
    In a strange, twisted way, the person lost in guilt…abuse…addiction…vanity…is crying the desperate cry to know the living God. “Stay with me.”
    In the waning hours of life’s brief day our greatest desire, whether spoken or unspoken, will be for the Lord of Life to “stay with me.”
     
    Our Lord made His loving presence known to those despairing disciples on the Emmaus road…
                    Through His Word.
     
    He explained the Christ had to suffer and die, and then rise again to rescue us from sin, death, and hell.
    God’s promises in Scripture are living and powerful because Jesus comes to us in the Word to fulfill those very promises of life eternal.
    In the Lord’s Supper we further know His presence in a very real way as we receive Him.
     
    May the risen Lord Jesus, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, constantly make His presence known to you.

    To learn more, watch the video below

     

     

    Peace in the Storm
  • Peace in the storm
     
    I can’t imagine how dreadful the disciples must have felt…
    Their last memory of Jesus was leaving him behind in the hands of an armed guard,
    while they fled like scared rabbits.
     
    Now he was crucified, dead, and buried.
     
    Was it guilt that clouded their memory of his promise to rise?  Was it fear? Was it despair?
     
    Suddenly, He appeared among them.
    He didn’t say, “Shame on you! How could you! Where were you when I needed you!”
     
    He said, “Peace be with you!”
     
    Now wait a minute! How could they have peace when
    …they would be arrested.
    …they would be tortured.
    …they would be martyred for proclaiming His gospel?
     
    Jesus breathed on them and imparted the Holy Spirit.

    A little child cries at night when the thunder cracks outside his window.
    The father comes into the room not to remove the storm, but to remove the fear by holding his frightened child.
     
    When the storms of life howl outside our homes or inside our hearts, the risen Christ comes to us,
    Not to remove the storm, but to remove the fear.
     
    He breathes the Holy Spirit to us through the gospel to give us peace.   
     
    Do you want that peace? 

     To learn more, watch the video below


     



     
    Who is your BFF?
  • Who is your BFF?
     
    Can you even have a Best Friend Forever when you know we will all one day die?
     
    Thank Jesus, who is the Resurrection and the Life, that He is your Best Friend Forever.
     
    Because friends…
                    Love you even though they know everything about you.
                    Sacrifice for you without asking for anything in return.
                    Will put their arms around you when words won’t work.
     
    Jesus, our Best Friend Forever, guarantees eternal life to all who believe in Him.
     
    Therefore, in  Christ we will all be Best Friends Forever because we have the same Friend Jesus!!!
     
    But His friends forsook him when the powers of this world arrested and condemned Him.
    He didn’t look like a helpful friend when He was pinned to the tree.
    He didn’t look like a Best Friend Forever when His body was laid in the tomb.

    But then He rose!  He lives!  We have forgiveness of sin and eternal life through Him!


    To learn more, watch the video below
     

     

     

    Have you seen the first robin yet?
  • Have you seen your first robin yet?

    I spotted the first robin of spring in our back yard yesterday.

    Ah, spring
    The sun’s warmth gives rise to new life.
    The earth’s thaw emits the soil’s awakened odors.
    The spring rains bring hope of planting the food that satisfies our appetites.

    But wait – you don’t plant food. 
    You plant seeds.
    Dead, lifeless seeds.

    And in the soil they “die,” and then sprout, grow, and produce new, living plants with even more seeds for the harvest.

    Yes, life is a miracle – and so is eternal life.

    It comes through death – the death of the Son of God in shame and anguish.
    He took our sin and death to the grave with him.

    And then He rose – to produce a harvest, an ingathering of those who by faith in Him live forever.

    Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Spring…

    So the cycle repeats as our gracious God cares for His earth and the creatures He made to live on it.
    So we plant seeds in the spring. They grow in the summer. We harvest them in the fall.

    Jesus uses a seed as a metaphor for His death – and resurrection. What does it mean for our life, death, and resurrection?

    To learn more, watch the video below

     

    God so loved the....
  • God so loved the...

    Righteous? Homeless? Christians? Holy? Sanctified? Motivated? Positive-thinking? 
    Healthy? Good-looking? Intelligent? Admired? Fatherless? Motherless? Childless? Successful? Unemployed?

    No. Your mind already completed the sentence before you read the next line.

    God so loved the world!

    Did you know that means God so loved you?

    Sure, but lots of people believe God loves them. Still they have problems, pain, and sorrow. Does that mean God no longer loves them?

    God so loved the world that he gave…

    What did He give – a better lifestyle? A miraculous healing? Financial freedom? Perfect peace?

    He gave His one and only Son.

    OK. Why did He give Him?

    That’s what Lent is all about. That’s why we set aside 6 Sundays and 6 mid-week services…culminating with Holy Thursday communion and Good Friday solemn worship.

    Because our foolish senses want a Savior only for this life. 
    The gospel and we Christ’s Church focus on why God gave Him so we never forget: 
    He is the Lamb of God who sacrificed Himself to take away the sins of the world.

    Wow! That’s good news! And here’s what it means for you:

    “That whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    To learn more, watch the video below
     

     

    The Gardener and his pruning shears...
  • The Gardener and his pruning shears...
     
    Whether you have a green thumb or not, you know gardening is work – preparing, planting, watering, and…
     
    …pruning.
     
    If the trees, shrubs, and tomatoes could talk, what would they say?
    “Don’t you dare come near me with that pruning knife!”
     
    But you prune – to produce more fruit.
     
    Jesus says He is the Vine, His Father is the Gardener, and we are the branches.
    Dead branches – people who aren’t connected to Jesus, the Source of Life – produce no fruit. They get burned.
    May we never stray from our Savior by neglecting His Word and Sacrament!
     
    Living branches – you and I and all who with humble faith trust in Jesus as Savior from sin – produce fruit.
    The branches that produce fruit are the branches the Gardener must prune.
     
    So the next time you ask,
    “Why me Lord?” 
    “Why do I suffer?”
    “Why can’t I find the health and success of my friends?”
    “Why does my life seem so empty?”
    “Why do I hurt?”
    “Why are you punishing me?”
     
     
    Remember the Gardener.
    He knows if He left his vines untrimmed, they would soon run wild and their fruit would be inferior.
     
    So He prunes with His knife of affliction in order to cut away
                    The wild sinful shoots in our hearts.
                    The love of self.
    The love of the world.
     
    The Gardener prunes and puts us in difficult, painful situations
                    So we lean more heavily on His grace.
                    So we are more heavenly minded.
                    So we can witness His comfort to others when they suffer.
     
    Thank Jesus He bore the punishment of our sins and took away sin’s sting and death’s victory.
    Thank the Gardener He loves you enough to prune, and He promises you will bring forth fruit.
                    Fruit that will last!

     

    Sermon, May 3, 2015 from Mountain View Lutheran Church on Vimeo.